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Patriots @ Dolphins: Keys to Winning

I'm always huge on the offense.  It's hard not to be when those are the guys scoring the points and Tommy Terrific is rehabbing his leg; there's always lots to discuss.  In the meantime, I've forgotten about the front 3 in Hoodie's often used 3-4 defense.  Richard Seymour, Vince Wilfork, and Ty Warren are all Pro Bowl DLs.  Their job in that 3-4 defense is incredibly difficult: jam up the offensive line.  Then, let the 4 in a 3-4 go to work.

With Adalius Thomas out of the starting lineup, Pierre Woods jumps in at starting OLB opposite NE favorite, Mike Vrabel.  I was big on Pierre during the preseason; he was just the type of linebacker I like to see: all over the field, exactly where he needed to be to make the big play.  Sure, Adalius is a loss because of the huge amount of pressure he's been creating over the last few games, but I feel pretty good about Pierre.

Let's not forget Tedy Bruschi is questionable, so it is likely Gary Guyton will see some action.  Both Guyton and monstah rookie Jerod Mayo have been having good games, but it remains to be seen whether or not Guyton has the staying power for a whole sixty minutes.

Onto the positives.  NE's defense did a great job of shutting down Favre in the second half of our most recent outing with NY.  That's the defense we need to see:  pressure on the QB, CBs getting physical and putting their hands inside to knock balls away, and ILBs shutting down running lanes.  It was textbook and we need that again.

Sammy Morris is in as starting RB.  Rookie BenJarvus Green-Ellis has done an outstanding job filling in for the banged backfield, so my hat is off to him.  I'm sure he hasn't seen the end of his role and will be rotated in and out.  This makes me feel better as we're not solely reliant on Kevin Faulk and "Law Firm".  Fresh legs are a good thing.

Moving on to the passing game, simply shutting down Randy Moss and Wes Welker doesn't work.  Matt Cassel consistently nailed Ben Watson and Jabar Gaffney this last Thursday.  Move a DB off of Moss or Welker to assist with those guys and you've just shot yourself in the foot; Matt is already dangerous with Welker (108 yards against NY) and has proven if you give Moss some leeway, he will eat you alive.  You can't double everyone and the more capable hands Cassel has to throw to, the more difficult this game will be for Miami's defense.

The same D we saw in the second half of the Jets game coupled with as many receiving weapons as we can muster.  Revenge is a dish best served cold, but we'll have to live with 73 degrees.  That's just not right.  I mean it's November and... oh, I've already ranted about that.  Nevermind.